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Overseas stars like Arlene Kelly will only drive up the standard in Ireland, believes head coach Ed Joyce


Arlene Kelly is set to make her debut for Dragons

Arlene Kelly is set to make her debut for Dragons

Arlene Kelly is set to make her debut for Dragons

Ireland Women’s head coach Ed Joyce has welcomed the return of overseas players to the Super Series, with both Dragons and Typhoons having one in action in tomorrow’s game at Wallace Park (10.45am).

They will raise the standard, they’re all good cricketers and with only three this year it was easy to split them round the teams,” said Joyce.

“Inevitably, one player will miss out, but these players have the quality and that overrides everything else, and the old adage is that our players will learn from them.”

New Zealander Arlene Kelly, who is an Irish passport holder, makes her debut for the Dragons, the new predominantly Northern-Ireland based side, in their first home match of the season tomorrow, after their one-wicket defeat by the Scorchers last week.

“Playing cricket in Ireland has always been something I’ve wanted to do. I have family living in Cavan and ever since my first visit I absolutely fell in love with both the people and the place,” said Kelly.

“When I realised there would be a possibility to play the sport I love in the country I love there was no hesitation.

“The recent investment that Cricket Ireland has made to the women’s game has been fantastic to see. It’s an exciting time to be involved and I’d love the opportunity to contribute both on and off the field.

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“I’m really looking forward to getting involved, learning new skills and being able to share some of my knowledge.”

The Typhoons’ professional is 24-year-old top-order batter and wicket-keeper Robyn Searle, who has played for the South Africa T20 side and is likely to be part of the squad that faces Ireland in a six-match white-ball series next month.

Bhavi Devchand, a Zimbabwean leg-spinning all-rounder, has returned to the Scorchers whom she played with in 2019, the last year when professionals were involved in the Super Series.

Ireland internationals Cara Murray and Amy Hunter are set to be key to the Dragons’ success in their inaugural year in the competition, but Alana Dalzell, Amy Caulfield, Kia McCartney, Charlotte Lyons and Mollie Devine all featured in the first starting line-up, with Devine top scoring last weekend in a last-wicket stand of 57.

Murray, Devine and Dalzell were then all among the wickets as they reduced the Scorchers to 136 for eight but the last two wickets added the remaining 13 runs for victory.

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